Saturday, July 6, 2013

Me and Billy

I opened the July issue of Beach magazine looking for a familiar photo. The magazine had contacted me about a month ago asking if they could use a photo that I had taken of Flying Point BeachThe magazine staffer mentioned that he thought the photo would look nice next to a poem that they were running about Flying Point Beach. 
I found my photo on Page 143.
My eye scanned down the page to the text (insert loud exclamation here) I was gobsmacked to see that my photo was printed next to a poem by Billy Collins! He is a rock star poet and if I were to have a poetry rock star crush it would be on him. In degrees of separation this will probably be the closest I'll ever get. Very cool.

Lines Written at Flying Point Beach
or at least in the general vicinity
of Flying Point Beach,
certainly closer than I normally am

to that beach where the ocean 
crests the dunes at high tide
spilling tons of new salt water into Mecox Bay,

and probably closer to Flying Point Beach
than you are right now
or I happen to be as you are reading this.

but how close do I really need to be
to Flying Point Beach
or to any beach in order to write these lines?

Oh, Flying Point Beach,
I love all three words in your name,
not to mention the deep, white sand

and the shorebirds on their thin legs
facing into the wind
along that low stretch between the ocean and the bay.

How satisfying it is to be
even within bicycling distance of you,
though it's dangerous to ride at the edge of these roads.

Thoreau had a cabin near his pond.
Virginia Woolf stood on the shore of the River Ouse,
and here I am writing all this down

not very far at all - maybe 20 minutes by taxi
if the driver ever manages to find this place - 
from the many natural wonders of Flying Point Beach.

A Poem by Billy Collins

Billy Collins is a currently a guest host on the Writer's Almanac (more here). He is also on the faculty of the Southampton Writers Conference. Session I begins July 10th. 
Billy Collins TED talk: "Everyday moments, caught in time" video here.

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